How Journalism Changed My Life

Day 198/365: Everything happens for a reason, including a profession that can make or break you

Journalism nearly broke me.

But you know what happens if a profession or a life event or a crisis doesn’t break you?

It makes you!

For me, journalism was life-changing. In a good way, if I now take the time to think about it. It made me a better listener, a better thinker, a faster person as a whole and a much calmer person.

It might not look that way when you first look at what I used to do.

3:15 AM

The phone usually rang at that hour. It was mostly accidents, really bad accidents I had to report on. Not the easy, sweet accidents you put on Youtube and then get a couple of likes from them. Nope, the kind that would be banned from Youtube because there would be too many dead bodies in the frames.

Those kinds of accidents.

The truth is, for many years I worked just like a firefighter. I would receive the emergency call, get up regardless of the hour, get dressed and then rush to the scene. Once there, I’d take part at the whole process of pulling the victims out of their cars, see who was still breathing or not, note every single detail that I could about the accident and then report on it from my laptop.

Still think journalism is all fancy conferences, interviews with business people or politicians and cocktail parties? It’s hell, especially for events journalists.

But these type of journalism is also the most rewarding one. If you can get past the drama and the horror and report on the story, just do your job, you’ll inevitably grow into a better person. If you can go through an experience like a deadly accident or a bad fire or any other once and again, you’ll ultimately grow into a calmer, more calculated person.

A person that responds to the situation in a rational way, not react to it with emotions, feelings and heartache.

A person who understands life and death as part of the normal, everyday life because that’s how the world works, regardless if you like it or not.

A person who can trust other people based on their actions, not on their words, because you can see them at work.

A person that can understand the difference between work and personal life, but also between what can be published and what can’t.

And finally, journalism makes you a person who understands the importance of patience in a job and in life in general.

Without patience, there’s no way in hell you can go over anything.

You have to be patient to understand a story, a life event, a thought that suddenly arrises in your mind and simply sticks there, for some reason. In order to understand and move on, you have to be patient and resilient and accept life as it comes to you, with all of its good and bad moments.

Journalism was hell at times, but it taught me patience and gave me a front-row seat at the spectacle of life, showing me both the beauty, but also the strange and the dramatic of this thing we call “being human”.

Thank you for your time!

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